Seven Tips for Your Personal Property Memorandums

Creating an estate plan in Orange County requires careful consideration of all of your assets and who you would like to receive them. This can range from real estate, to bank accounts, to clothing and furniture. In many cases, writing out all of your personal property, item by item, is not necessarily the best method for handling these assets. Instead, you may choose to use a personal property memorandum to accompany your will or trust. The following are seven helpful facts about using personal property memorandums as you create your estate plan:

  1. A personal property memorandum directs your trustee or executor to distribute your assets in the manner that you describe.
  2. Personal property memorandums can be destroyed and recreated at any time.
  3. The personal property memorandum is a document that is separate from the will or Orange County living trust, but is referenced in those instruments.
  4. If you designate verbally that someone is to receive an item of personal property, your trustee or executor may not be obligated to carry out those wishes.
  5. Personal property memorandums can help to avoid potential fights among beneficiaries by taking away ambiguity and discretion when it comes to these assets.
  6. If you want to make a change to a personal property memorandum, you can do so at anytime, without needing to amend your trust or will.
  7. A personal property memorandum is very useful when you want to leave a specific item to someone in particular. 

Since every family’s estate plan has its own unique goals, facts, and circumstances, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney about whether a personal property memorandum is right for you.

To learn more about personal property and living trusts as you create an estate plan, view our guide, Understanding the Revocable Living Trust - In Language that Anyone Can Understand in 8 Minutes. Don’t forget to share this helpful information with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm